11.5m reports of ‘fake news’ in one week worries PM
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha expressed concern on Tuesday after the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) said it received over 11.5 million reports of “fake news” in the space of just one week this month.
The ministry said it handled a total of 11,540,617 reports of misinformation between January 14 and 20.
It found 231 messages of fake news covering 116 issues, including 21 issues related to Covid-19.
The fake news was divided into four groups: 74 items related to government policy or official information; 29 items related to health products; six items related to disaster; and seven items related to the economy.
Monitoring of Thailand’s internet has tightened considerably since the 2014 coup, triggering complaints from rights groups that the government is waging a war against free speech.
A government spokesman said citizens were becoming more aware of fake news on social media since the campaign against misinformation had increased the proportion of genuine news.
He said citizens could report fake news at the Line account @antifakenewscenter, https://www.antifakenewscenter.com/, Twitter @AFNCThailand, or call the GCC hotline 1111-87.
He added that Prayut was worried about the effect of fake news on people, especially during the Covid-19 situation. He asked netizens to verify information before sharing it with others.